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Tips for Keeping the Garbage Disposal Healthy This Holiday Season

Halloween is the signal for the big end-of-the-year holiday flood to start, with major holidays arriving at the end of both November and December, all of which involve feasting and guests. If you are entertaining in your home this year, you can expect your kitchen to handle an enormous workload, probably more than it experiences at any other time of the year. Making sure all your kitchen plumbing is in good shape to handle the pressure can help make the holiday season far more enjoyable for your and your guests.

There’s one part of your kitchen plumbing that needs specific attention at this time of year because it’s most vulnerable to failures: the garbage disposal. If you have an old and often faulty garbage disposal, we strongly recommend you get a new garbage disposal in Williston, VT. That’s a job we can do for you. If your garbage disposal is still in good shape, we have some important tips to help you keep it that way.

How to Prevent Garbage Disposal Trouble This Season

People often have misunderstandings about how garbage disposals work and what they can handle. Here are precautions that will stop damage to the garbage disposal during a feasting season:

  • Never put garbage in the garbage disposal: As plumbers, we wish garbage disposals had a different name because actual non-organic garbage should never go down them. Please don’t treat the disposal as a trashcan and send down items like paper, plastic, any parts of food containers, cigarette butts, etc. The disposal isn’t designed to handle these items.
  • Do not place hard food waste down the disposal: Here’s a basic rule that can tell you what type of food waste should go in the trash rather than disposal: if your teeth can’t chew it, the disposal can’t grind it. This includes fruit pits, meat bones, and unpopped popcorn kernels.
  • Don’t put fibrous vegetables down the disposal: Onions, asparagus, celery, and any other “stringy” vegetable can become entwined in the mechanisms of the garbage disposal and cause its motors to burn out. 
  • Don’t put pasta, rice, and coffee grounds in the disposal: These all may seem harmless, but they pose different problems for a disposal. Rice and pasta both absorb water and can jam up the disposal, while coffee grounds can easily get stuck in the mechanical parts.
  • Avoid pouring fats, oils, and grease down the disposal: This applies to any drain in the kitchen. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are liquid when hot and therefore may seem harmless. But when they cool, they congeal, and few things will gunk up a disposal or drain faster.
  • Don’t use ice cubes to “sharpen the blades” of the disposal: You may have heard this advice, but it’s wrong. Disposals don’t have blades, they have blunt impellers that hurl waste into a grind ring. Putting something as hard as ice cubes down the disposal can cause damage.

Following this advice, you should be able to avoid an emergency repair call for your kitchen plumbing during the season. But we’re here to help whenever you do have a plumbing emergency.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont & Northeast New York. Schedule any kitchen plumbing work you need with our team.

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